Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
Chapter 10: Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Philippines
Physically isolated from other nations and relatively free from external influence, the Oceania countries have responded to GM crops with comprehensive and individualistic GM regulatory schemes. These distinctive regulatory schemes arise from many factors. The physical isolation of their land masses led, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, to the development of highly distinctive flora and fauna and a history of concern about environmental releases of new organisms. That isolation also provided a competitive marketing advantage for their products as being free from particular pests, or in more recent times GMOs, which was not to be discarded easily. Particularly in the case of New Zealand, the development of a strong organic farming sector provided a push against GM crops. Finally, there is an expectation in these nations of public participation in GM policy development and that governments address socio-economic concerns. Internationally, all are members of the WTO, and Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand are members of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; Australia is not. All except the Philippines also adhere to either UPOV 1991 or 1999, and the Philippines has implemented its own plant variety protection legislation.
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